Sunday, August 07, 2011


To round off  Silly Week, here are some strange - though sometimes very apt - Sicilian proverbs and idioms.  To make it more interesting, I've turned it into a quiz so see if you can match the proverbs and idioms 1 - 6 with their meanings a - f. The answers are at the bottom of the post.


1.  Cui sputa 'n celu, 'n facci cci torna.
2.  Màritati e mùli hanu a stàri suli.
3.  Unni ci sù vòsca ci su' lùpi e ùnni ci sù campàni ci sù buttàni.
4.  L'amuri è comu 'n çiuovu, si 'u scippi ci rresta 'u pirtusu.
5.  Sutta 'i linzola siemu tutti richi.
6.  Cu' è fissa si ni stapi a sa casa.

a.  We are all rich under the sheets.
b.  He who spits towards the sky will get the spit back in his face [or "What goes round, comes round".]
c.  Where there are woods there are wolves and where there are bells [ie., in towns] there are whores.
d.  Let a stupid person be stupid at home [to protect him and save the family from shame!]
e.  Love is like a nail - when you pull it out, you can still see the hole.
f.  Married couples and mules need to be left alone [ because the married couple need time alone and if you leave a mule alone you can't get kicked!]


1.  Ti sienti tuttu carciuòfila.
2.  Sunu tuttu amuri e bruoru di çiçiri.
3.  Chiddu mi pari paliccu.
4.  Ci puoi calari a' pasta!
5.  Farisi cacari am mucca.
6.  Hai 'i manu ri ricotta.

a.  He looks like a toothpick [said of someone who is too thin or of someone whose opinion counts for nothing.]
b.  You've got ricotta hands [said to someone clumsy].
c.  You can throw the pasta in the pot [meaning you can count on something].
d.  They're all love and chickpea broth [said of people who are lovesick].
e.  You feel like an artichoke [said to someone who gives themselves airs].
f.  To make someone defecate in their mouth [meaning to humiliate someone].

For answers, highlight the space below:
Proverbs: 1b; 2f; 3c; 4e; 5a; 6d.  Idioms: 1e; 2d; 3a; 4c; 5f; 6b.


Unknown said...

I find it interesting that most of the idioms refer to food.

Ales says meow to Simi.

James Higham said...

He who spits towards the sky will get the spit back in his face

There are variants of this which can't be repeated on a lady's blog.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ah, this is Sicily, Nick! Simi sends kissies and wags to you and Alex. xx woof! I'm sure there are, James!

Patricia said...

LOVED this post, especially the idioms. I can barely translate Italian...the Sicilian throws me, but I can get a word here and there. The picture of ricotta hands is very apt.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm so glad you liked the post, Patricia. Yes, luckily I remembered I had that photo!

Sean Jeating said...

And here's silly Sean, generously offering with almost one week delay a tiny i so that the title can be honed.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you for pointing that out, Sean - I am stupid!

Sean Jeating said...

Lady Limoncello,
as a teacher you do, of course, know that one tiny mistake does not make a stupid person, hm?

Your lamb pieces with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms are mouth-watering; chapeau at your thoughts about recent 'events' in England; may there be lots of health upon you.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Sean. Yes, I do know that and you are very kind. Good health to you and buon ferragosto. xx


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